Investigation Reveals the Failures of 'Clean Coal'

As the federal government sends massive subsidies to encourage so-called clean coal technology, coal-burning power plants aren't sending less pollution into the air and into the earth.

1 minute read

December 5, 2018, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Coal-Fired Power Plant

Svineyard / Shutterstock

Tim McLaughlin reports the findings of a Reuters investigation into the outcomes of federal programs to subsidize chemically treated clean coal, or "clean coal" in industry public relations terminology.

Refined coal has a "dirty secret," according to McLaughlin: it fails to live up to its environmental promises.

Reuters analyzed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including data from a Duke Energy Corp power plant in North Carolina, and found that NOx emission rates increased substantially when the plant began burning refined coal in 2012. When the plant stopped using the refined coal, bromide levels in the region fell sharply.  

The story of Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station power plant in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina is only a case study. In aggregate, according to the analysis, refined coal "shows few signs of reducing NOx emissions as lawmakers intended."

Monday, December 3, 2018 in Reuters

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